Saturday, October 17, 2009
My American Pharmacy Haul
People are always talking about what a glamorous experience it is to visit European pharmacies, and I agree, with their obscure miracle products not found in North America and very formal and knowledgeable staff, it's not to be missed. Though part of their charm is that they are usually located in some gorgeous historic building, these places are usually tiny. Much of the magic is often kept behind the counter and you're better off going knowing either what you want, or willing to be instructed on what you need. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the experience of getting lost in browsing around a big-ass store with tons of cosmetics, crazy hair products, and all those beauty gadgets I see in the infomercials. Ped Eggs and Bumpits and The Strapper, hell yeah! At the same time, it's also kind of amusing to be able to pick up anything from a pet bed to a fishing rod to go with my beauty purchases. That's what I love about American pharmacies, they really have it all, and you can really feel free to wander around at your leisure. I find it so relaxing and therapeutic.
Here are my treasures:
L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 'Pink Lady'
After seeing this lipstick in the November issue of Allure, I was excited to get my hands on it as it's not available in Canada. Although it's not my favourite color, the thrill of the chase and finally tracking it down was worth it. It reminds me a lot of Laura Mercier's 'Baby Lips' lipstick.
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers in 'Raisin' and 'Peony'
I had seen both of these colors mentioned in magazines as makeup artists' favourites (of course couldn't find them in Canada) and they didn't disappoint. Both colors are lovely, sheer, lip stains with a fresh, minty taste that makes the lips tingle when applied. 'Raisin' is a deep, reddish-plum, and 'Peony' is a very wearable light, shimmery blush pink.
CoverGirl TruShine Lipstick in 'Blushberry Shine'
Another one I'd seen on best in beauty lists for a few years now, of course nowhere to be found north of the border. A lot of drugstore lipsticks have a very strong blue-pink base, so I was surprised that this one stayed true to it's original color rather than leaving the 'fuchsia stain' as it wore off. This sheer berry-nude shade is fairly similar to Clinique's Almost Lipstick in 'Almost Blush', a favourite that was discontinued a few years ago.
Ardell False Lashes #301
It doesn't get more fool-proof than this as far as false lashes are concerned. These are for the outer half of the eye, and they are the perfect, unexaggerated length and thickness. No trimming necessary. Everyone needs a pair of these. I suspect I may actually be able to find these here because of the bilingual packaging, which is mandatory for products for sale in Canada. I will post an update if I do find them here.
So what's the difference between Canadian and American pharmacies? Smaller stores and much, much less selection. When I was unable to find L'Oreal's 'Pink Lady' lipstick in Canada, I called up their customer service to find out where I could purchase it, assuming it was for sale here under a different name or number. I was very surprised when I was told that Canadian pharmacies don't carry the entire L'Oreal line because our market is only 10% of what it is in the U.S.
I guess that explains it.